The Day the Earth Went Dark Episode 16: Rapids of Union

The river pulled Drake and Charley until the terrain leveled out and they were able to stand up in a semi-stagnant area. Wind pushed ripples along the blades of green grass in between the healthy trees. Drake didn’t reach out to stop Charley as she trudged towards the shore. They weren’t in direct danger anymore. Even in the bulky chem suits Drake could see Charleys head turning back and forth as her arms swung forward. The bottom of Drake’s pants felt damp and cold. I guess they never field tested these in rapids. Drake started towards shore as well.

By the time night fell Charley built a small fire, but food sources eluded Drake. All of the usual woodland creatures either disappeared or went into hiding. Or worse, whatever killed the plants and humans killed them too. Charley stared into the fire, with her hair still matted. It looked dry, but without a comb Charley couldn’t straighten it out. Drake knew she’d hate having her hair a mess. The darkness that set in started to remove the sense of comfort they’d both found in the light of day.

“We will need to take shifts staying awake,” Drake said. “Keep an eye out for dying grass.”

Charley nodded, but didn’t take her eyes off the fire.

“I think we should head back to the bunker in the morning,” Drake said.

Charley didn’t nod that time, but Drake could see the flicker of the flames in her eyes.

“What the hell was that thing?” Charley finally asked. “That didn’t look like anything our government could have created.”

Drake knew she was talking about the floating gold and black ring. 

“I don’t know what that was.” Drake tried to sound calm, but none of his combat experience prepared him for alien technology. “Even the advanced Tech they worked on while I was in Black Ops didn’t come near that device.”

Charley’s expression changed suddenly from fear to sadness.

“You know I always feel like you’re hiding so much from me about those years in your life,” Charley said. “For all I know you had another family that you were taking care of while I was at home with Xal.”

She didn’t sound angry, and her sadness seemed genuine. Of course her sadness is genuine, she really thought you were off cheating with some other chick on the side. But the realization that most of the worlds technology was gone or close to it gave Drake a new sense of comfort.

“Are you sure you want to know about the time I spent overseas?” Drake asked.

The fear returned to Charley’s eyes, but she nodded firmly. So, Drake told her about the various Top Secret missions he went on with covert teams. He did his best to leave out the gruesome parts, but there were still parts that he didn’t see as bad that made Charley cringe. But at the end of the night, Drake found Charley tucked tightly against his body in their bivouac, making it the first time since Xal left for the Space Force that they slept so close.

4 thoughts on “The Day the Earth Went Dark Episode 16: Rapids of Union

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